April 23, 2010

I like this Harvard Law Review attack on the FTC regulation of bloggers who write about stuff they get free.

Noted here. But whatever happened to editing?
In the interest of providing consumers with full disclosure, the Guides require bloggers to disclose any “material connection[s]” they have with producers of any products that they “endorse” on their blogs. A “material connection” includes not only monetary compensation, but also any free good received by the blogger — even if that good was provided unsolicited, with no conditions attached, for the purpose of allowing the blogger to review the product.
The word referring to merchandise is "goods." You can't invent the singular "good" in serious writing. Come on, Harvard!

22 comments:

Sigivald said...

Why can't you?

Sounds fine to me, and it's perfectly normal in economics, isn't it?

The singular of goods is good. This is not problematic, un-serious, or weird.

Mark O said...

This explains how Obama was President of the HLR.

Balfegor said...

Sounds fine to me, and it's perfectly normal in economics, isn't it?

And in the law too, I would have thought. See, e.g. this case, wherein the Third Circuit makes repeated use of the "good" backformation.

A.W. said...

Proper grammar is overrated.

Chip Ahoy said...

Do you ever get free books sent to you?

AJ Lynch said...

Even Tony Soprano knows the correct usage is "Show me da goods!"

rhhardin said...

Wm Empson wrote somewhere that people were probably correcting other people's grammar in 3,000 B.C. Egypt.

I suspect in "The Structure of Complex Words," but I can't find it.

Trooper York said...

Do they get free porn?

Maxine Weiss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Triangle Man said...

OED says as a countable noun, that it is chiefly used as plural but occasional as singular.

Link.

Scroll down to "8. spec. a. (Now only as a countable noun, chiefly pl., but occas. in sing.) Saleable commodities, merchandise, wares (now chiefly applied to manufactured articles)."

New "Hussein" Ham said...

United States Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Where does it say that Congress can make some laws restricting free speech as long as it's in the interest of the consumer?

Because it pretty plainly says in the Constitution that the Congress can make no laws that restrict my right of free speech, even if it would help consumers.

No. Fucking. Laws.

None.

I have a message for the FTC: "Go fuck yourselves."

We are a nation of "laws." I am not interested in your "rules and regulations."

So go fuck yourselves.

Ann Althouse said...

It's not grammar, it's usage. And that's a point of usage, not grammar.

Keep in mind that law review editors have long upheld a strong tradition of the highest standards of editing, that a law review's prestige hinges on first-class editing, and that Harvard Law Review has long been the premier law review.

They should have editing competitions, like moot courts, in which law review editors from lesser ranked law schools have a shot at besting the editors from more prestigious schools.

Ann Althouse said...

"Do you ever get free books sent to you?"

Yes, but I don't do posts about them. A free book is damned cheap way to "buy" a plug. And unlike a purchased ad, it is searchable in Google, giving you more prominence.

I get some godawful books. You wouldn't believe the bilge they print on dead-tree. It's almost always horribly padded (contrary to Vince O'Herne's theory that crap printed on paper is more carefully pruned and edited).

rhhardin said...

The evolutionary point is that one detects nonmembership in the tribe through miscues in the tribal language.

So people are good at it.

One wants to know whether to trust the guy.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"You wouldn't believe the bilge they print on dead-tree."

I've read Isthmus.

So, I beg to differ.

I think I have some idea of the bilge the dinosaurs are raping the trees of Gaia for in order to create more litter for planet Earth.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Do you ever get free books sent to you?"

A better question is do other companies pay you to produce posts for them (such as Apple?)

Glenn Reynolds is paid vast sums for outlinks by a myraid of companies. He will occasionally post a 1-line disclaimer but I suspect most of his readers are oblivious to the amount of money he earns on his posts.

Are you getting any of that crazy blog money?

Ann Althouse said...

"A better question is do other companies pay you to produce posts for them (such as Apple?)."

Absolutely not. I have never written a post other than because I wanted to. I have put my readers' interests ahead of everything but my own self-expression.

Sometimes people try to do PR through me, including people at my law school. I don't do that. And I certainly wouldn't do it for money. I say: Buy an ad.

Ann Althouse said...

I have a code to let people take free ads though, and I've let one person use it for one ad. I might do that again.

Ann Althouse said...

I hasten to say the free ad I gave was not to a politician. I've never made an "in kind" contribution to a political campaign.

Eric said...

Do they get free porn?

Only at the SEC.

Tex the Pontificator said...

Shame on me. It never occurred to me you should not refer to a good. I once argued that, in a transaction between mortgage banks, a mortgage should be considered a good, thereby making Article 2 relevant. The trial court did not buy it, and my client did not want to pay for an appeal. Alas.

Revolution said...

HLR has sucked ever since Jesus Hussein Christ was an editor.